Since Spring, I have gone to the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, New York to give volunteer sessions of Essential Awakenings. July 10th was a picture perfect day with the temperature just about 80 degrees, a big beautiful blue sky, and not a cloud in sight. We chose to have the smelling session in the garden that looks out to the Hudson River, making it a perfect spot with a direct connection with nature. I took the Essential Awakenings Premier Edition that includes jasmine, grass, pineapple, chocolate, mint and cinnamon plus several other favorites like lilac, banana, and watermelon to share with the residents. The session started with about 8 people in attendance, but slowly grew to 13. I always give an introduction to tell my audience a little about my background in fragrance development, and more often than not, I will have someone ask how Beyonce was to work with. Getting my audience engaged in conversation is a goal of Essential Awakenings as Smell, Recall, and Connect is my mantra. As the smelling session progressed, the audience engagement increased, and soon some of them conversed and shared memories with each other. Some of the word associations and comments from this very exciting session were:
- A beautiful flower garden like we're in
- I have a garden in Europe, wide and long
- Petunia in Romania and Hungary
- Being home and chocolate pudding
- Gardening and farming
- Peonies and how the ants crawl out of them
The comments mentioned above are poignant, vivid and personal, and illustrate how smells can elicit memories and thoughts that may not be brought out unless prompted. The Essential Awakenings Smell and Memory kits contain smells that have been developed to replicate smells in nature, or smells connected with an occasion (i.e., pumpkin pie or popcorn). Look for the Second Edition that will be available soon, and will consist of Lilac, Vanilla, and other great smells to help our loved ones reconnect with special moments and memories in time.